Thursday, November 11, 2010

Morning Glory ***1/2

Starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references

Directed by Roger Michell

Written by Aline Brosh McKenna

* * * 1/2

Morning Glory

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 07: Actress Rachel McAdams attends the New York Premiere of 'Morning Glory' at Ziegfeld Theatre on November 7, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
"Morning Glory" has a relatively simple story line, setting and script, but the strength of the characters and actors are what bring it to vivid life. Becky Fuller is your typical girl with a dream, completely devoted to her job as producer of a morning news show. There are thousands of real-life Becky’s crowding up every major city across the country. She is a pro at what she does and is on the cusp of a huge promotion when she is instead canned in a major way. Cue the laborious and incredibly persistent job search.

Rachel McAdams brings such frenetic energy to the character of Becky. She’s pretty but not glamorous, confident in her job but a total klutz anywhere else, always fumbling with her phone and banging into furniture.

She manages to get a job on a network morning show that is in a bad state. She is hired by Jerry Barnes, played with understated humor by Jeff Goldblum, to be executive producer of “Daybreak,” which has less viewers than staff members. The magic that follows must be watched to experience the full effect of the trifecta of Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford and McAdams. All three bring such class and seriousness to the story that viewers can feel their every up and down.

Keating is Colleen Peck, the bitter but spunky long-time morning co-anchor. Ford is the weathered, gruff hard news anchor who has won every journalism award under the sun and now finds himself down on his luck. He is cornered into a co-anchor position opposite Colleen and he fights it with every fiber, refusing to budge and lower his high journalistic standards. McAdams is the ringleader, youngest and freshest face among the whole bunch, trying to manage the many egos and maybe just keep the show afloat before the network shuts them down for good.

Ford and Keating look and sound better than ever and together they are unexpectedly comical. The story isn’t a romance or a drama or a comedy, it’s a melody of classic characters polished and put together with a sweet twist.

“Morning Glory” accomplishes everything a film like “Post Grad” failed miserably at: the romantic drama is light, the storyline is strong, the characters are multi-layered and even endearing, never cringe-worthy. It’s the kind of film that might slip under the radar, pegged as fluff, rather than substance. In fact it’s the perfect balance between the two, substance with a dollop of fluff on the side.

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